Monday, June 28, 2010

I will never get tired of.....

I will never get tired of watching parents see their baby for the first time! Their expressions, excitement, enthusiasm and pure joy bring me close to tears every time! Can't wait to see this at least five (hopefully) more times while I'm here!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

All 16 babies

All 16 babies and some of the volunteers


Before coming to Taiwan, I received a page of information about what to expect while at THOGL. "You will feel like you've been run over by a truck" was something that stuck out to me while reading this. I thought, "Hmmm.... really? I wonder what that will feel like?" Now I know! By the end of each day, I am ready to crash. I love the babies and it's not that I don't want to be around them, but I just don't have the energy to pick up another baby. I will think "How many more days until the weekend?" and then remember that we don't really have weekends here.


Then I'm reminded that I depend on God for strength each day. GOD- who made the ground I stand upon. Who made each of the precious babies. Who gives me life and breath each day. HE is where I get my strength.


Depending on my strength, yes, I will feel like I've been run over by a truck. But by GOD'S strength, I can finish each day strong. I can feed that one last baby before bed. I can hold the baby that won't calm down. Because HE will give me strength.


I'm reminded over and over each day why I'm here. Some of the little things God has allowed me to experience that bring such joy are (in no particular order):

1. Watching parents meet their baby for the first time- seeing the joy and excitement... something I can't even begin to describe.
2. Seeing some of our little ones push themselves up to their knees, knowing they are trying so hard to crawl, but they just can't quite figure it out.
3. Hearing the stories of the volunteers, parents, staff and how they came here- realizing how blessed I was to have the childhood/ life I've had.
4. Spending each day with my sweet niece.
5. Looking on as the babies grab each others hands during play time- not just once, but over and over again.
6. Spending time each Saturday night in worship with the other volunteers
7. Listening to the older kids at the orphanage singing praise to God in their own language.
8. Seeing the older kids at the orphanage love on the babies during their devotions
9. Making new friends.
10. Watching the babies grow over the past two weeks- it's amazing how much each of them has grown in such a short amount of time. I can't even imagine how much they will have grown by the time I leave here.

Just thinking about those blessings from God gives me more energy. I just pray that I can remember His faithfulness and blessings as I begin to wear down. GOD IS SO GOOD!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Prayer Requests....

Please pray for:

-the three babies that have court dates on Tuesday morning (Monday night U.S. time). The birth mothers have the opportunity to see their babies, then they must go to court and relinquish their rights. Pray that all will go well and the mothers will have peace about their decisions
-one of our babies who was a little sick today. Pray that he feels better quickly and nobody else gets sick
-Adrian, one of the volunteers, who was also sick today
-Ted and Bev, who left for vacation today with their daughter and family- safe travel, great time, rest
-Anna, as she has a large load to handle with Ted and Bev being away
-Unity among the staff as it can get a little stressful at times

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

-Tuesday was bath day :-) All the babies smelled so good, at least for a little while!
-We sang lots of songs to the babies- all the songs we could think of..... song suggestions are welcome! We're running out of ideas!
-Work up to fireworks very close by (they are to scare away the evil spirits)

-Went to the Dragon Boat Festival and saw the HOGL team race :-)
-Ate ice cream (Thank you, Natalie!)
-Had a Chinese donut!  

Overall, two good days!!!

Monday, June 14, 2010

I love....

.... the smell of babies after a bath
.... babies grabbing another babies hand.... or mine!
....babies falling asleep on me smiles
....hearing babies talk
....seeing all the different baby expressions

I'm reading My Heart's Desire by David Jeremiah and there's a chapter called "Do You Ever Wonder?" In it, the author asks, "Do you ever wonder? How long has it been since you've been a child again, gaping with wide eyes? How would it change your life if you could live like that every day? How would it change the people around you?" I look into the babies eyes and see them just marveling and wondering at everything they see, as if they're trying to figure it out and everything is amazing to them. Wouldn't my life be so different if I could look at everything that way?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Good food, car rides, and exploring outside

I can't believe it's only been four days since I arrived at HoGL. It seems like it's been so much longer than that! I love the babies, but miss everyone from home. I finally feel like I have the schedule down, remember all the babies names, and am able to hold more than one baby at once. Now on to learning who has which bottle. I think right now I only know four of those!

The exterminator came on Friday, so we spent the day at the apartment the HoGL has available for when parents come to pick up their babies. It was an interesting day, but since I had only been there for a day, the change didn't seem too much for me. It was definitely different for some of the volunteers who are used to the routine and the babies were really glad to be back at "home" on Saturday morning. Staying at the apartment meant two car trips for us and the babies. Each of us grabbed two babies and hopped in the car! Amazingly, all the babies were pretty calm during the car rides.

Natalie and I were also able to go on another car ride yesterday when we took three of our babies to get their passport pictures taken. Once again, the car ride went well, but the photo session didn't go quite as well. Two of the three babies didn't seem to like getting their pictures taken. Oh well.... who has good passport pictures anyway? And they do tell you not to smile!

Here are some of the babies at the apartment. We didn't have cribs for all of them, so some of them got to experience sleeping on the bed for the night!

So I'm kind of a picky eater and don't generally try new things, so I've pretty much been sticking to just rice and fruit while I've been here, but they are the best foods here! The fruit is amazing and I know I'm going to be spoiled by it. I'm going to be so disappointed in all fruit when I come home. Some of their best fruits I've had so far are: pineapple, mango, watermelon, and grapes (they're huge!) The fried rice is pretty amazing too!

I went for a walk around the orphanage the other day and took some pictures.

The Front of the orphanage

Pretty flowers next to the orphanage

                                                                             The playground

This is where I sit to skype in the morning (if it's not raining).

You can see plenty of these lined up outside.
 If I understand correctly, the kids have to learn to drive
 one of these before they can drive a car.
 A lot of the older kids in the orphanage seem to have them.

More pretty flowers

Thursday, June 10, 2010

First Day= Exhaustion

Well, my first day here is complete! It was busy and in some ways, I feel like it was a whole week instead of just one day! There are seventeen babies here right now, which is actually down a lot from the 28 they had not too long ago! Here's what our schedule somewhat looks like every day:

       Feeding/ changing time
       Play time
       Feeding/ changing time
       Nap time/ break for us :-)
       Feeding time
       Play time
       Feeding/changing time
       Nap time
       Play time
       Feeding/ changing time
       Bed time

That is pretty much it from about 8:00 in the morning to 8:30 at night! Each baby is precious and I'm starting to love them already, although I was completely exhausted yesterday by the time I went to bed, but I did get 8 WONDERFUL hours of sleep :-)

A picture of play time:

Time to get ready for a new day. Today the exterminator is coming so we're moving the babies out to one of the apartments for about 24 hours. Should be interesting and probably a long day!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

We made it!!!

We made it Taiwan and to HoGL around midnight (noon PA time!) I'm wide awake at 3:00 in the morning, so wide awake that I just spent an hour helping on the night shift. Loving the babies already :-)

No delays+ no lost luggage+ no deportations= a good traveling day!

Monday, June 7, 2010


Leaving for Taiwan tomorrow and will arrive there Wednesday night Taiwan time (Wednesday morning U.S. time). Can't wait to meet all the babies and the others working there right now!

Friday, June 4, 2010


Just so you know who/what I'm talking about when I post:

     HoGL or THOGL: The Home of God's Love, the orphanage where I am staying/working
     Ted and Bev: The directors of the orphanage
     Natalie, Kelsey, Adrian, Kalyn, Abigail: The other summer volunteers
     June 8: The date I'm leaving
     August 12: My return date
     Matt and Chrissy: My brother and sister-in-law who are adopting from THOGL
     Mira Joy: My soon-to-be niece
     Packing: What I should be doing right now! :-)


One of my favorite books is "If" by Amy Carmichael. While reading it this morning, I came across a few quotes that I think will be very relevant for me in Taiwan.

"If I have not compassion on my fellow-servant, even as my Lord had pity on me, then I know nothing of Calvary love"

"If I put my own happiness before the well-being of the work entrusted to me; if, though I have this ministry and have received muchmercy, I faint, then I know nothing of Calvary love."

"If I myself dominate myself, if my thoughts revolve around myself, if I am so occupied with myself I rarely have 'a heart at leisure from itself,' then I know nothing of Calvary love."

"If I take offense easily; if I am content to continue in a cool unfriendliness, though friendship be possible, then I know nothing of Calvary love."

"If a sudden jar can cause me to speak an impatient, unloving word, then I know nothing of Calvary love."

"If monotony tries me, adn I cannot stand drudgery; if supid people fret me and little ruffles set me on edge; if I make much of the trifles of life, then I know nothing of Calvary love."

"If I am inconsiderate about the comfort of others, or their feelings,or even of their little weaknesses; if I am careless about their little hurts and miss opportunities to smooth their way; if I make the sweet running of household wheels more difficult to accomplish, then I know nothing of Calvary love."

"If something I am asked to do for another feels burdensome; if, yielding to an inward unwillingness, I avoid doing it, then I know nothing of Calvary love."

"If the ultimate, the hardest, cannot be asked of me; if my fellows hesitate to ask it and turn to someone else, then I know nothing of Calvary love."

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

God is so good!

 -My trip is completely funded
 -I get to spend the summer with my soon-to-be-niece
 -I have a travel buddy, Natalie, who I am so excited to meet in person and get to know this summer!
 -Natalie and I have seats next to each other for the longest portion of the flight, even though we booked our flights at different times!

Prayer Requests:
  -Safe travel
  -Smooth transitions to life at The Home of God's Love
  -Good health for all at the orphanage